I'm posting this both on my blog, and on the Technorati weblog.
This is a great example of how brands can really engage their audience. Here you have the Hollywood--- home of the ultimate media companies. And film marketing--- which has been about posters and junkets. Amazing things happen when you let the brand side of a media company go beyond traditional marketing behavior and actually engage in conversation--- and act like a media company itself.
Technorati and Paramount Classics have announced an eighteen-month relationship to bring blogosphere discussion about each of their upcoming films directly to each film's web site. We've begun with An Inconvenient Truth, the global warming documentary starring Al Gore, which will be in select theaters beginning May 24th. The site, with live blogger commentary, is here. Here's a link to our official press release.
Film sites have traditionally been one-way marketing vehicles. A place to find trailers, synopsis, actors' pictures, and bling for fans to download. But seldom a big tent for conversation and ideas. Paramount Classics recognizes that their film site will be more vibrant and authentic if the unfettered conversation about a film plays out on the film home page. Its a terrific way to shine attention on the word of mouth about a film--- which is traditionally difficult to find since blog discussion is spread out over thousands of blogs, but never in one place. The studio is both making word of mouth about their film easy to find, and creating traffic for bloggers who are writing about the picture.
The Inconvenient Truth site highlights both posts about the film, and posts about climate change and global warming which may never mention the film. About an hour after the site went live I dropped by and found a fascinating post that led to an oil-industry funded organization that is starting to run TV spots proclaiming that global warming is bogus. Throughout the weekend I checked back to watch the blogosphere's reaction to that drama. A film site that tunes into the live web really is a lot more lively than the alternative.
By the way, this is a well crafted film. Unlike Fahrenheit 9/11, which was a polemic and made the left act left-ier and the right behave right-ier, this picture does a great job of laying out its argument and --- just when you're wondering if an argument holds weight-- coming back with evidence to make its point. In many ways this film and the blogosphere were made for each other. Its going to be fascinating to watch how the left and right, the energy industry and environmentalists speak to one another in the coming weeks. No matter where you stand on the issue, go see the film. Blog about it. Its going to be a quite a consequential discussion!